Antarctic Penguins Adaptation
June 11, 2012
What is an anatomical change? An anatomical change is any change in the structure of the body. What is a physiological change? A physiological change is any change in the function of an animal; biochemically, cellular, tissue, organ and whole organism levels. Animals need to adapt to survive and thrive in harsh conditions. Antarctica is an extremely cold, harsh environment. It is very flourishes with life from May to August during the summer months due to the mild temperatures, which range from 3 to 12 degrees Celsius and 24 hours of sunlight, allowing nutrients to be brought to the surface layers by the upwelling’s at the Antarctic Convergence. (Ward, 2001)
The Adélie penguin is the second most southerly breed of penguins with the Emperor penguin being the first. But the Adélie penguins leave the Antarctic and head north when winter begins in mid November, unlike their cousin the Emperor Penguin who wades out the weather. Winter in the Antarctic tundra last for 66 days, the sun does not rise again until February. With no sunlight the temperatures drop drastically to -70 degrees Celsius, and extreme wind chills, making this vast tundra seem lifeless. Anatomically the Adélie penguin has a compact shape, which keeps them low to the ground reducing heat loss. They have dense feathers for insulation on land and a fat layer under the skin for insulation in the ocean waters. Like all other penguin breeds the Adélie penguin has short wings reduced to flippers for swimming under water, also known as flying in the sea. In order to stop prey from slipping out of their beaks they have backward pointing barbs on the tongue. As with all other penguins they are black on top and white underneath, this has multiple purposes; helps regulate their body temperature and also keeps them camouflaged from predators of the sea.
The Adélie penguin has physiologically evolved in many ways....
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